A Leptin Fragment Mirrors the Cognitive Enhancing and Neuroprotective Actions of Leptin

Yasaman Malekizadeh (Lead / Corresponding author), Alison Holiday, Devon Redfearn, James A Ainge, Gayle Doherty, Jenni Harvey (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    31 Citations (Scopus)
    192 Downloads (Pure)


    A key pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is amyloid β (Aβ) accumulation which triggers synaptic impairments and neuronal death. Metabolic disruption is common in AD and recent evidence implicates impaired leptin function in AD. Thus the leptin system may be a novel therapeutic target in AD. Indeed, leptin has cognitive enhancing properties and it prevents the aberrant effects of Aβ on hippocampal synaptic function and neuronal viability. However as leptin is a large peptide, development of smaller leptin-mimetics may be the best therapeutic approach. Thus, we have examined the cognitive enhancing and neuroprotective properties of known bioactive leptin fragments. Here we show that the leptin (116-130) fragment, but not leptin (22-56), mirrored the ability of leptin to promote AMPA receptor trafficking to synapses and facilitate activity-dependent hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Administration of leptin (116-130) also mirrored the cognitive enhancing effects of leptin as it enhanced performance in episodic-like memory tests. Moreover, leptin (116-130) prevented hippocampal synaptic disruption and neuronal cell death in models of amyloid toxicity. These findings establish further the importance of the leptin system as a therapeutic target in AD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4769-4782
    Number of pages14
    JournalCerebral Cortex
    Issue number10
    Early online date6 Sept 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2016


    • Alzheimer's disease
    • amyloid beta
    • AMPA receptor trafficking
    • episodic memory
    • hippocampus
    • synaptic plasticity


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